Sunday, 29 May 2011

Ciaté Paint Pot - Mistress

It's a fair cop. I will admit to a fling with a Mistress. Whilst I love my Orly dearly, I've been tempted away from my neon brights by Ciaté's Mistress, a coral toned red. Although I do paint my nails red quite a lot, the polishes I use tend to be darker shades of red, more blue toned than orange-toned. However when I saw Lisa Eldridge wearing this on her blog it caught my eye. In addition to loving the colour I was also keen to try it (purely in the name of blog research of course!) as I've never used Ciaté polishes, or should I say Paint Pots, before.

Ciaté was created by Charlotte Straughan, who owned her own salon, to meet the needs of both customers and professional nail technicians. The range has a number of collections: Festival Fever; Classics; Fashionista; Metallics; Nudes; Passionista; Pop and Pastels, with a colour to suit everyone.

Image: Ciaté

The polish usually retails at £9.00 but I found it for £4.50 (Buy it Now) on ebay, which was a bargain. I was really impressed with all aspects of this polish. The long-handled brush makes it easy to control the brush when applying the polish. The polish went on really smoothly and evenly and dried with a glossy finish.  Ciaté claim that their polishes are long-lasting and I can only agree. I think that this is one of the best polishes I've ever used in terms of staying chip-free. After 6 days it had no chips at all. I applied 2 coats of polish to ensure total uniform coverage. As the colour has a coral/orange tone I think it's the perfect red for Summer. Depending on the light it can look more orange, sometimes more red.

I love the Ciaté packaging, as with it's little ribbon and the long brush handle it has a definite vintage feel to it. I know you shouldn't base a buying decision on packaging alone but it definitely adds to the overall feeling you get when purchasing and using a product. I have been really impressed with this polish and will definitely be adding to my Ciaté collection very soon. If you'd like to try this polish you can get it from a number of online retailers including Beauty Bay .

So what's your favourite nail polish brand? I'm always keen to try out new products so I'd love to hear which nail polishes are impressing you right now.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

All things bright and beautiful

As you will know from some of my previous posts, I am a huge fan of the bright nails trend which is popular this season. Looking at the photos from my Orly Va Va Voom and Holla posts got me thinking about how I have increasingly been choosing brighter colours over the last few months.Whilst my closet and makeup collection by no means resemble a Pantone colour chart, my recent additions have definitely been brightening things up a bit.

Previously there was a lot of black and white (in my closet, not my makeup collection!) but I have been making more of an effort to bring a bit of colour to proceedings. In the not too distant past, my makeup used to range from pink lipgloss to sheer browny-pink lipstick,pink lipgloss, but now I love a slick of bright lippie! I find that wearing bright colours perks me up even when I'm half-asleep (as I most definitely am not a morning person).

In this post I've included some photos of some of my recent purchases and also some things that I had in my closet that hadn't seen the light of day for a while. Whilst writing this post I discovered an orange Barry M lipgloss I wore for a fancy dress party that I think I'm now going to try out day to day.

Previous readers of my blog will have noticed the blue ring before, in my Orly Holla post. It's from the Scott Wilson for ASOS colection from last year, and cost £35. I love it and it definitely makes a statement. Ever on the hunt for another statement ring, I purchased the orange ring yesterday from H & M for a bargainous £3.99!

The handbag is one that I bought in the Warehouse sale about 4 years ago. Not surprisingly my eyes were drawn straight to it so I snapped it up for £10. I love the combination of the patent, perspex and metal together. It's always guaranteed to bring a pop of colour to an outfit.

So are you a fan of brights or do you prefer sticking to darker colours?

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


On the weekend I paid a visit to my local branch of TK Maxx. I have found some great bargains in there recently, including a See by Chloe bright pink jumper for £34 instead of £210 and a Clements Ribeiro Portobello cotton cashmere sweater for £29.95 insead of £325. In days gone by I would have gone straight for the handbag section to see if I could find any designer gems hidden amongst some of the other less desirable bags. However, since my discovery of beauty blogs I now find myself going straight for the beauty section. Whilst I'm on the subject of handbags, am I the only person who if I was in a position to spend hundreds of pounds on a handbag would still want it to be displayed nicely, and not just left on a shelf for a load of people to mess about with? I am not sure that the shop floor (literally!) is the best place for a £995 (reduced price!) Versace bag.

Clements Ribeiro Portobello jumper
See by Chloe jumper

Due to the nature of the store you can never guarantee that you will find a particular brand, but I always find that it's worth taking a look, as lately I have found some great products on the shelves. In addition to high-street brands such as L'Oreal and Revlon, you can also find higher end brands such as Korner skincare. On my last visit I picked up a few brands that I had come across on beauty blogs (Margaret Dabbs & Leighton Denny) so will be trying them out and posting about them soon.

As a girl who loves her beauty products and her clothes I also love a bargain. After all, the more money saved, the more Nars products I can add to my collection! So have you got any particular places (online or instore) where you consistently go to to grab a bargain?

Thursday, 19 May 2011

To GlossyBox or not to GlossyBox?

The discussion between beauty bloggers on Twitter has been raging: to GlossyBox or not to GlossyBox? If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then here’s what GlossyBox have to say on their website (

“With the GlossyBox you receive the most interesting beauty products and latest make-up trends every month directly to your home. Each GlossyBox contains five selected luxury product miniatures. The product range is diverse, ranging from a luxury lipstick to a trendy hair care product from a cutting edge brand. All product miniatures are carefully selected and tested by our experts. Find your new favourite indulgent products to soothe those daily stresses or to add glamour to a party night.
With the GlossyBox many surprises and beauty tips await you. Let us find the right products for your type and let us guide you through the vast world of beauty.”
So basically, five luxury beauty treats landing on your mat every month, for the sum of £10. The idea is similar to the Birchbox service which runs in the United States.
There was a lot of discussion on Twitter as to whether this was a good idea or not. Quite a few people seemed to think that they would rather go in-store to get samples from brands they know they like. However I decided to trial the service, as not living in London means that my local department stores don’t always have the new brands I want to try, and I don’t always want to order an untried premium brand online, in case it doesn’t live up to the hype. 

I think a lot of people felt it was worth trying the service at least once though, and this feeling heightened once GlossyBox started dropping teaser tweets into people’s timelines hinting that Nars products would be making an appearance in the first box. Anyone who’s read my blog (for which I’m giving you a big virtual hug to say thank you) will know that I have only recently discovered Nars products. My first purchases were two of their fabulous blushes: Orgasm & Instant Cheekbones a.k.a Sin, and I soon added a Laguna bronzer to this list. These purchases were the start of a love for Nars that I know is shared by a few a LARGE number of bloggers (Is there a collective noun for a load of beauty bloggers?) If they have got Nars products in there then there will be some very happy GlossyBox customers out there.
My GlossyBox hasn’t been delivered yet, so until I can comment on the contents I’ve been thinking about what would be in my ideal GlossyBox. Here’s my list so far:
·    Nars Albatross highlighter; Orgasm Illuminator; any of their lip products, Sheer Glow foundation….. (here endeth this sentence before it starts to resemble a Nars product list!).
·    Alpha-H – I’ve been impressed with this brand from my use of their 7-piece Daily Miracles set from Beauty Expert so would love to try more of their range.Until the 31st May you can get 15% off your order at Beauty Expert when you enter the code LOVELY at the checkout.
·    Daniel Sandler – I’ve heard some great product reviews and have been impressed with the base brush I’m using from his range and also his Eve lipstick for All for Eve which raises funds for The Eve Appeal which I purchased from Beautique.
·    By Terry – Ever since reading about Touche Veloutee on Chic Beauty Blog and Rose de Rose on Welsh Beauty Blog I have been lusting after this brand. For those who don’t know, this range was created by Terry de Gunzburg who created the iconic Touche Eclat for YSL. Thankfully for my bank balance there isn’t a branch of Space NK near me so I haven’t added anything by this brand to my collection…yet!
·    BioEffect – I was lucky enough to get a sample of this (worth £30) after finding out about their sampling campaign via the lovely British Beauty Blogger. Whilst I was impressed with the results, I couldn’t quite justify the cost to myself (£125 for 15ml or £76 for 5ml) so didn’t purchase it.
So have you ordered a GlossyBox or did the concept not appeal to you? What products would be in your perfect GlossyBox?

Sunday, 15 May 2011

My Makeup Miracle

I am sure that we all have our own Holy Grail, ‘go to’ products, and this month Beautique are celebrating these products with their Miracle Month. During May, Beautique are offering customers a variety of different promotions and competitions all focused on their customers’ miracle products. There are offers on a variety of brands including Clarisonic and OPI.

As a new blogger I was delighted to be asked to write a post for their blog. Click through to find out about my makeup miracle. I love to hear about products that other people use, so what’s your miracle product that you can’t live without?

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Happy Nails - Part II

Following on from my post earlier this week where I was shouting the joys of Orly's Va Va Voom from the blogging rooftops, here's a post on my other recent Orly discovery: Holla.

Once I'd colour popped with Orly Va Va Voom I just couldn't stop! I was looking for an orange nail polish to contrast with a particular outfit, so put out a cry for help on Twitter. The only oranges I owned were all variants on a coral theme, and I was on a tangerine trip. Once again, Farrah at makeup it girl (hereby annointed my Official Nail Polish Guru) assisted me in my nail polish quest and recommended this beautiful bright. When Nadira at Nadira Makeup Mistress   also recommended it, I took it as a sign from the beauty Gods that I was meant to try this polish. If you haven't already guessed it doesn't take much! Thankfully has just started stocking Orly Mani Minis so I put my order in. If you are not sure if a bright is really for you, then the Mani Minis are the perfect way to try them out without buying a full-size polish. They are currently on 3 for 2 at Boots too, so now's the time to try them. I've taken the photo below to give you an idea of the size when compared to a standard Nails Inc polish (Kensington Caviar TopCoat, which I got as part of a Nails Inc gift set free with an Elle subscription).

This polish applies easily and dries to a matte finish. I love this polish and it's always good when a product makes you smile in addition to ticking a few beauty trend boxes. I think it's safe to say that my love affair with the highlighter pen part of the colour spectrum is going to continue for a while. I am defiinitely a Holla-nails girl!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Happy Nails - Part I

Although I have been a long-time lover of nail polish (I don't do 'naked' nails!) I had never come across Orly nail polishes until the gorgeous Farrah at make up it girl tweeted a photo of her "happy nails"! At the time I was wearing the brightest pink I owned (Nails Inc Shoreditch), but the happy shade in question suddenly made my polish look woefully inadequate on the bright front. The name of the polish which inspired such nail envy? The striking Va Va Voom from Orly's new Pin Up collection. Now if you are a member of the nude nails school of nail polish, then this highlighter pen pink polish might not be your cup of tea. But I LOVE it!

The polish comes in a large bottle with a rubber handle which helps to control when applying the polish. The polish applies evenly and dries to a creme finish. Depending on what finish you prefer you can use a glossy topcoat on top (as I have in the photos below). I took some photos with an iphone but not sure they do the polish justice!

This polish is certainly not subtle, but it's the perfect way to bring a pop of colour to your style this season if you can't afford anything from the new Jil Sander collection. I have never had so many comments (all positive!) on a nail polish, and will definitely be repurchasing this. What are your thoughts on this shade? Is it your idea of nail polish nirvana or your nail polish nemesis? If it looks like your thing then you can purchase it at Beauty Bay, priced £8.75 :

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

My Current Routine - Part II: Make-up

Here is the second part of my 'current routine' series of posts, and this time I'm looking at the contents of my make-up bag as opposed to every bit of makeup I own, which would be a much longer post! I'd be really interested to know if you have tried any of these products and what you thought of them.
Foundation – Estee Lauder DoubleWear in Fresco. This foundation is great and is a Holy Grail foundation for a large number of bloggers. It gives great coverage which lasts and lasts. If you'd like to give it a try, pop along to your nearest Estee Lauder concession to get yourself colour-matched and try a free 10 day sample.
Powder – L’Oreal True Match – This was bought after a Twitter cry for help as I needed to buy some powder to apply before going out after work and had left my compact at home. Great value and does a great job.
Concealer – GOSH TouchUp concealer (for undereyes) and Benefit It Stick (on blemishes). Although I am reasonably happy with these products I am still searching for the perfect Holy Grail concealer. As my undereye area has been known at times to have more bags than a Louis Vuitton flagship store I am always searching for ‘the one’ when it comes to concealers. When I find it you will be the first to know!
Blush – Nars blushes (which I LOVE) in either Orgasm or Sin (which has been described as "instant cheekbones"). I had never tried a Nars product until I read a few tweets about them, and I now wonder what on earth I was putting on my cheeks before I discovered Monsieur Nars’ blushes. The pigments and textures are fabulous. I also use Nars Bronzer in Laguna.

Lips – I think that this is one of the areas that has been most influenced by my discovery of beauty blogs. I used to be slightly hesitant about veering off the ‘natural pink lipgloss’ path but since I’ve discovered the joy of a good beauty blog I have been trying out a variety of different shades and textures. Here are some of my current favourites: Lanolips lip ointment in Apples (gives a lovely red sheen and leaves my lips really soft); MAC Viva Glam in Cyndi (a coral-red lustre); Guerlain Rouge G in Gaela (a pink which is bright enough to give a pop of colour without being too 'in your face', and it comes in the most gorgeous case) and All for Eve ‘Eve’ lipstick (a classic red) created by Daniel Sandler.

Mascara – Paula’s Choice Illicit Lash Mascara – I hadn’t come across this brand before until I read about this product on three blogs within the space of a week. With my cosmetic curiosity piqued I decided to order it from and my lashes haven’t looked back. This mascara gives me lovely long lashes, and I never get any of the flaking that I’ve had with other products.
Eye-liner – L’Oreal Super Liner in 'Carbon Gloss' – very easy to apply and long-lasting – what’s not to love?!
Eye-shadow – MAC 'Retrospeck' and MAC 'Sumptuous Olive'; GOSH Waterproof shadow stick in 'Love that Brown'.
Brows – I never really used to do much to my brows, but once I started using a brow kit I haven't looked back. Just the simple act of brushing them through properly and applying brow powder gives some more definition to my face. I'm currently using the GOSH Brow Kit after buying it as part of a 3 for 2 offer in Superdrug.

So have you used any of these products, and if so, what did you think? Have you got any recommendations for me?

Monday, 2 May 2011

My Current Routine - Part I: Skincare

I originally wrote this list a few months ago after reading a couple of posts where bloggers detailed what they used. At the time I thought it would be interesting for myself to note exactly which products of the many that I own that I was actually using, and which ones were taking up valuable bathroom space with no beauty benefits gained! Previously, the products that I was using tended to be a combination of gifts, special offers and habit. Since then, thanks to my new discoveries via Twitter and other blogs, this list has changed quite a bit. Whilst I think I’ve now found a few Holy Grail items, I am quite sure that this list will keep evolving, as my skin changes, beauty trends move on, and well, as a beauty lover I never really need a reason to try new products! As the list is quite long I've split it into a couple of posts.
Cleanser – Origins Checks & Balances, used with a Konjac Sponge. If you haven’t already tried the Konjac sponge then I urge you to give it a go. I discovered them via a post on the fabulous Get Lippie blog. They are such a simple and good value product which helps leave my skin beautifully smooth after cleansing.
Toner – I am not currently using a toner, but having read a few posts promoting the virtues of a good toner, this is about to change.
Make-up Remover – I have been using a Bourjois make-up remover after reading about it on a blog. However it didn't live up to my expectations as it's quite greasy, so I am on the hunt for a new one. All recommendations welcome!
Day: La Roche-Posay Effaclar M/Effaclar Duo/Effaclar K . I first heard of this brand a while ago but it was only when I read rave reviews on Twitter that I decided to give it a go and ordered some from  who have some great value packs of La Roche-Posay. I am so glad that I did. The Effaclar range is designed for oily skin with imperfections. I mix and match these 3 different lotions according to my skin's requirements. I find that the Effaclar M really helps to mattify my skin without drying it out. The Duo and K are great when I have got a breakout or my skin is looking a bit congested.
Night: Dr Nick Lowe Night Recovery Cream - I was lucky enough to win this as part of a set in a Twitter giveaway from @DrNickLoweSkin . I had previously only used products from Dr Nick Lowe’s Anti-Blemish range. However, I have found that this night cream really helps with the appearance of my skin overnight, leaving it feeling softer and smoother.
Primer/Radiance booster – Clarins Beauty Flash Balm – I LOVE this product. This product is a classic, so when I was lucky enough to get it free in a Grazia Beauty event goodie bag, I was one very happy lady. This product does exactly what it says on the tube: brightens and firms. I apply this to my skin using the technique shown by Lisa Eldridge and instantly my skin looks better.
Eye-cream – Clinique All about Eyes
Exfoliator – Origins Modern Friction
Face mask – I have yet to find a face mask that I really love, so I have been alternating between Soap & Glory The Fab Pore which I was given as part of a set, and the hydrating Origins Drink Up, depending on the condition of my skin.


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